The curent Development Plans for both Ireland and Northern Ireland have paid close attention to the opportunities for expanding collaboration, in a range of areas, including the development of infrastructure networks in transport, energy and communications, in the context of European Funding. Both theNational Development Plan, 1994-99 [Ireland] and Structural Funds Plan, 1994-99 [Northern Ireland] contain a common chapter setting out the rationale for closer economic co-operation, reviewing the progress which has already been made and examining the scope for developing collaboration further.
TheNew Framework for Agreement prepared by the Irish and British Governments envisages that, with agreement, co-operation to the mutual benefit of all living in Ireland could develop without impediment, attaining its full potential for stimulating economic growth and prosperity. As the document makes clear, the two Governments look forward to making proposals on the functions for a North/South body in future discussions with the relevant Northern Ireland parties. Those discussions will constitute the appropriate forum for consideration of how the objectives set out in the Framework Document might be implemented in transport, energy and communications.